NH Minimum Continuing Legal Education
Summary of Rule 53
For all information about NHMCLE on the web, visit the NHMCLE pages on the Bar's website. No password is needed to review general information about the requirement. You will find directions to locate your online record, application forms and SC Rule 53 and its Regulations. The website and the Bar’s publication, NH Bar News will keep you updated on any rule or regulation changes.
Using only Internet Explorer, you may review your password protected CLE course listing on the web at any time--select For Members --Log In--NHMCLE Attorney Records--Attendance. All your CLE courses have to appear in your online record to claim credit in NH. This is your record--make sure it is up to date and correct.
Send your request for log in information to firstname.lastname@example.org
Each reporting year (from July 1- June 30) in which you are in active status for nine months or more, you are required to complete 12 credits of CLE, 2 in ethics/professionalism and 10 general credits. You may complete all 12 of your credits in ethics/professionalism, if you wish. At least 6 of your 12 hours of CLE must come from your attendance as a student at NHMCLE-approved, live programs held outside of your office. You may also participate in NHMCLE-approved, distance-learning courses where lawyers can communicate with faculty by e-mail or other reasonably contemporaneous methods. One credit equals 60 minutes of actual classroom time. Sponsors have 30 days to report attendance, and you or your assistant should check your attendance in your online record to be sure it has posted correctly, provided you have followed the sponsor’s procedures for attendance reporting.
The compliance period ends on June 30, and we encourage you to complete your credits by that date. If you have and the courses appear in your online record no later than August 1, you will need only review your white Certificate of Compliance for accuracy when you receive it in August. If you are not in compliance by June 30, you will receive a pink Certificate in August. You will be required to complete your credits and file your signed Certificate with copies of your new course attendance records no later than October 1 to avoid late filing fees. After that date, a late filing fee of $50 is assessed for submissions made during the next 30 days. After 30 days, the late fee increases to $150 and your name is sent to the NH Supreme Court with a request for your suspension from practice.
In-Office seminars held for a limited group, such as the members of a firm, office or invited lawyers must be approved for CLE credit by the NHMCLE Board. These courses are considered to be “non-live” programs and do not count toward the “live” credit requirement of 6 hours, regardless of their method of presentation. Reading CLE materials alone does not qualify for this or any kind of credit.
NEW LAWYERS/REACTIVATED LAWYERS
Lawyers admitted to the Bar after October 1 and before July 1, or those who have changed their NHBA membership status to active after October 1, are exempt for that reporting year. They do not have to meet the credit requirement. Lawyers admitted to the Bar between July 1 and October 1 are required to file CLE credits no later than October 1 in the following calendar year. Only courses completed after admission to NHBA count toward the NHMCLE requirement, unless the lawyer is already admitted to a Bar in another state. Lawyers who bring CLE credits with them from another state must submit an Attorney Credit Application Form for each course as soon as possible to get those courses approved in NH and entered into their record.
Lawyers who change their NHBA membership to inactive after March 31still have to meet the requirements of SC Rule 53 for the reporting year ending on June 30, unless they successfully appeal to the NHMCLE Board for an exemption. Contact the NHMCLE Office for more information.
Courses meeting the ethics/professionalism requirement deal with the areas of legal ethics (NH Rules of Professional Conduct), professionalism and the prevention of malpractice and substance abuse, as well as attorney-client relations. Courses must be structured specifically for lawyers to meet the requirements of Rule 53. Law office management courses must be viewed on a case by case basis.
Review the worksheet online or request it from the NHMCLE Office for the method to compute teaching credit. Teaching credit is granted only for teaching post-JD CLE courses approved by the NHMCLE Board and presented to lawyers, unless the NHMCLE Board has granted approval. Teaching credit is considered as a distinct category and does not count toward the “live” attendance requirement. Judging moot court does not qualify for credit in NH.
Publication credit applies to the principal authors of books, law review and journal articles directed to an audience of lawyers. Application should be made for credit in the year of publication. Creating CLE materials is considered part of “teaching” credit and does not qualify for publication credit. Publication credit is counted as “non-live” credit. The worksheet on the web or from the NHMCLE Office, explains how to compute this category of credit.
CLE courses sponsored by many organizations are credit-worthy, but must be approved in NH within 30 days of completion if presented by non-Annual Sponsors. Attorneys may also meet up to 50% of their requirement through approved, non-live CLE programs on CD Rom, on demand online or video/audio tape accompanied by written materials, provided the course was created less than three (3) years ago. The web and the NH Bar publication, NH Bar News regularly feature the list of Annual Sponsors, whose CLE programs are presumptively approved for credit.
COURSE APPROVAL PROCESS
Check the list of Annual Sponsors on the web site whenever you attend a CLE program. All programs have to be approved by the NHMCLE Board for credit within 30 days of completion. If you take Annual Sponsor programs which are presumptively approved for credit, you must follow the sponsor’s procedures to have your attendance reported to NHMCLE and then check your online record in 30 days to be sure the course has posted correctly.
When registering for CLE programs offered by non-Annual Sponsors, always ask the sponsor if they have or plan to apply for NHMCLE credit. If they do not, you must apply within 30 days of completing the course using the Attorney Credit Application Form. All programs must meet the “Standards for Course Approval” in SC Rule 53.5 to qualify for credit.
These specific steps will not only make your annual Certificate of Compliance filing process easier, but also will equip you to respond to a future audit request. SC Rule 53 requires that you maintain your CLE attendance records for two years following compliance. Please share these suggestions with your administrative assistant. For each reporting year (July 1- June 30), establish a NHMCLE file to contain:
- Your completed CLE program agendas;
- Program attendance records from the sponsor;
- Copies of your CLE reports from the NHMCLE Office
Compare your office records with the course attendance that sponsors report for you in your online record. Contact them directly if your attendance does not appear in your record within 30 days. You must keep your course information for two years after filing. It is your responsibility, not your firm’s, to maintain your records and have them available. The sponsor of every CLE program you attend should provide you with an attendance certificate showing the proper program title, the sponsor’s name, date, location and length of the program. THIS IS A REQUIREMENT OF ALL APPROVED CLE SPONSORS. If you do not receive an attendance certificate, ask for one to be sent to you and request that your attendance be reported to NHMCLE.
If you have any personal circumstances that prevent you from completing your CLE requirement or questions about SC Rule 53 or its regulations not answered on the website, please contact the NHMCLE Office at the Bar Center at 603-224-6942 or by e-mail, email@example.com.